User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 9 out of 34
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  1. SebZ.
    Oct 5, 2008
    7
    Emma Thompson is absolutely amazing and the story of forbidden love and loss of innocence is beautifully told.
  2. Bobbie
    Aug 10, 2008
    1
    Beautiful scenery. As for the rest of the movie it was a waste of time. No character development. Yes, we understand the mother was overbearing and the children hated her. So why not leave! Just awful.
  3. DavidW.
    Aug 1, 2008
    5
    Brideshead was an ITV tv series, not BBC, as assumed by Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor. Hay, imagine it, little old UK has more than one TV station, who would have thought??
  4. BradK
    Aug 10, 2008
    10
    The performances are spot on and the design and cinematography are reason alone to see the film.
  5. Durago
    Aug 8, 2008
    0
    Awful and boring. A waste of time.
  6. TanyaM
    Aug 8, 2008
    5
    Mediocre at best. The whole film seemed just a jumble of loose "ideas" (Catholicism, bad), never developing even a single aspect of the characters or the story into anything you could hold onto or care about. Even Emma Thompson couldn't carry the film since she was hardly in it! Her character was set up to be this harrowing, over-bearing and infinitely damaging mother to her Mediocre at best. The whole film seemed just a jumble of loose "ideas" (Catholicism, bad), never developing even a single aspect of the characters or the story into anything you could hold onto or care about. Even Emma Thompson couldn't carry the film since she was hardly in it! Her character was set up to be this harrowing, over-bearing and infinitely damaging mother to her children, and then it was never paid off. All the characters sure blathered on about it, but we never got to see those relationships for ourselves. Yeh, that pretty much pinpoints the whole problem...lots and lots of talk about things (alcoholism, being gay, loosing children, bad marriages, religion, painting in the jungle ha!), but never any witnessing of those things for ourselves. All "talk" and no "do" equals boring. But, on the positive side, I felt like having popcorn and a diet coke...so that was a plus. Expand
  7. Waughmonger
    Sep 30, 2008
    6
    If only Evelyn Waugh had been born 50 years later, so he could have been around to take advice from "Jackson" on plot development and "Bobbie" on characterization. That aside, the film is a disappointing adaption of a book that is structurally better suited to a television serial, as demonstrated by comparison with the classic ITV version.
  8. JayH.
    Jan 8, 2009
    6
    Talky but exquisitely produced. Excellent costumes, art direction and cinematography. The acting is good as well, the director has a good style.
  9. ChadS.
    Aug 11, 2008
    5
    More often than not, fanboys get the comic book adaptation they wanted; the most notable exception being, it goes without saying, Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin"(for years, George Clooney would go on late night-talk shows and say, "I killed Batman."). There was no blog for William Makepeace Thackeray fans to prevent Mira Nair from integrating William Makepiece Thackeray's More often than not, fanboys get the comic book adaptation they wanted; the most notable exception being, it goes without saying, Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin"(for years, George Clooney would go on late night-talk shows and say, "I killed Batman."). There was no blog for William Makepeace Thackeray fans to prevent Mira Nair from integrating William Makepiece Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", or a cyberspace to speak of when Jane champion created a thoroughly modern Isabel for her take on Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady". Which brings us to Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" and the agenda of the filmmaker to malign the Catholic faith. God doesn't hate Sebastian(Ben Whishaw) and force him into exile; it's how Lady Marchmain(Emma Thompson) uses God as a weapon through her own interpretation of the good book's bylaws. The bizarre love triangle, in particular, the line that connects Charles(Matthew Goode) to Sebastian is what drives "Brideshead Revisited" early on. Does Charles romance another man with complete emotional detachment for the right to hobnob with the filthy rich in their palacial estates? The line between Charles has its own intrigue, too. Maybe the godless Oxford student chases after Julia(Hayley Atwell) since he recognizes that the siblings' mother customized her god to call his relationship with Sebastian into question. "Brideshead Revisited" feels both truncated and overlong after Lady Marchmain throws Charles out of Brideshead. We're barely acquainted with Charles' wife when Julia re-enters his life. Not nearly enough time is spent on his rise in the art world. The same problem applies to Lady Marchmain's realization that she was too stringent with her children. She just tells us. The film doesn't dramatize what led her to this realization. Expand
  10. ScottS.
    Aug 11, 2008
    1
    Choppy and disjointed, and painfully long.
  11. CarolA.
    Aug 7, 2008
    2
    This movie was an abomination. It was soooooo long and boring. The story made absolutely no sense. It went on and on and could have ended a million times. Just a waste of money and time.
  12. pascaladolphejean
    Jan 16, 2009
    5
    Although the production values are generally good, there is a clobber-you-over-the-head quality to the screen adaptation and some of the performances that make the film far inferior to the mini-series. Marginalizing the theme of old-world Catholicism in the lives of the characters was also a major mistake. At best, this version is a watchable costume drama, and not much more. Too bad.
  13. MatthewM.
    Jan 31, 2009
    9
    Fantastic period piece. A beautifully tragic story where religion, dying victorian values, social ambition, and a vastly changing world in the early 20th century are at odds.
  14. RobertI.
    Mar 1, 2009
    6
    Workmanlike, lush, but lacking tooth. Is our generation simply more insipid than the original, or addicted to Technicolor? Give us 8 more hours, in black and white.
  15. Maurice
    Aug 14, 2008
    9
    May be not as great as the TV series, but it is still a very good movie. Great performances, particularly Emma Thompson. Beautiful cinematography and art direction.
  16. Fantasy
    Aug 14, 2008
    0
    Someone gave this a perfect score of 10 like in Gone With The Wind? OK my score is zero because this is a snoozefest of epic proportions. There is nothing to like about this movie as the story is disjointed and way too long. Boring.
  17. Jackson
    Aug 19, 2008
    0
    Terrible long drawn out movie. The story went nowhere. Can't believe anyone liked this trash.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Although it has its involving moments, the watered-down Waugh fails to make any kind of lasting connection.
  2. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    80
    Offers lush and compelling drama drawn from Evelyn Waugh's beloved novel. Purists may blanch at the screenplay's changes to the source material's narrative fine points, but its spirit survives intact.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    The remarkable thing about Jarrold's movie is how much of the book it manages to capture.